OnePlus, a smaller mobile brand that is making a strong case withquality smartphones like the OnePlus 11, was rumored for years to be entering the tablet space. As you may know, the tablet market is dominated by Apple’s iPad lineup, whether that’s the base-level iPad or the all-powerful iPad Pro.
It’s tough to compete with the iPad, especially when a lot of Android tablets still just, well, aren’t that great in comparison. But OnePlus finally released the OnePlus Pad, which looks like its own take on the 11-inch iPad Pro — but with a price tag similar to the entry-level 10th-generation iPad.
So, has OnePlus got Apple beat? Let’s find out.
|OnePlus Pad||Apple iPad (10th gen, 2022)|
|Display||11.61-inch LCD with 7:5 aspect ratio||10.9-inch Liquid Retina LED|
|Screen resolution||2800 x 2000 pixels||2360 x 1640 pixels|
|500 nits||500 nits|
|Operating system||OxygenOS 13 / Android 13||iPadOS 16|
|MediaTek Dimensity 9000||A14 Bionic|
|Cameras||13-megapixel rear camera
8-megapixel front camera
|12-megapixel rear camera
12-megapixel front camera
The OnePlus Pad is one of the most unique-looking tablets on the market, with a premium and elegant design. It features a unified metal body with a cambered frame and rounded curves. Overall, the OnePlus Pad has a very slim and thin profile. The back of the OnePlus Pad is also sleek, with a brushed metal design, featuring curvatures that look reminiscent of grooves on a vinyl record. The Halo Green color is gorgeous, though you have a rather large camera sensor that also sticks out due to the odd placement.
On the OnePlus Pad, you get an 11.61-inch LCD display that has a 2800 x 2000 resolution with an interesting 7:5 aspect ratio. Brightness maxes out at 500 nits, which isn’t going to do you any favors out in direct sunlight, but for indoor use, it’s perfectly fine.
The OnePlus Pad also has a mighty impressive refresh rate of up to 144Hz, though this only applies to certain applications — for the most part, you’ll get 120Hz refresh rates, which means smooth and responsive scrolling. Despite being an LCD display, the OnePlus Pad shows off bright and vivid colors and deep, rich blacks — it’s very impressive for the price point.
On the iPad side, Apple finally ditched the Home button and went with a larger 10.9-inch display, moving the Touch ID sensor into the top button. It also changed up the overall design to have flat sides and edges, similar to the rest of the iPad lineup (the iPad mini, iPad Air, and iPad Pro). This also means it’s the first base-model iPad to ditch Lightning for a USB-C port. The iPad also comes in four fun colors, giving you more options to choose from if you like having color in your life.
The display on the iPad is less impressive, though. While it’s now larger than its 10.2-inch predecessor due to the full-screen experience at 10.9 inches, it’s still pretty evident that this is a baseline model. It’s a Liquid Retina LED display with a 2360 x 1640 resolution. Maximum brightness caps out at 500 nits, and the sRGB colors are vibrant and fine for the most part.
But where the iPad display falls short is the disappointing refresh rate. It is still only 60Hz, which is the same as the iPad mini, iPad Air, and non-Pro iPhones, such as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus. Though it’s easier to miss on smaller iPhone screens, a 60Hz refresh rate is much more noticeable on a larger screen like the iPad. Animations are choppier and not as smooth as they could be.
Winner: OnePlus Pad
OnePlus packed in some impressive guts in the OnePlus Pad. You get 8GB LPDDR5 RAM, 128GB UFS 3.1 storage, an ARM G710 MC10 GPU, and a MediaTek Dimensity 9000 chip. Though the recent OnePlus 11 smartphone uses a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, the MediaTek Dimensity 9000 is still quite powerful, as it’s one of MediaTek’s higher-end offerings.
The OnePlus Pad comes with OxygenOS 13, which is OnePlus’ custom fork for Android 13. OnePlus made sure to add some useful features in OxygenOS 13 for tablets, such as the productive split-screen mode for improved multitasking and even the ability to run around 24 apps at once if you really wanted to.
However, the biggest flaw is that it’s still Android, which is great for smartphones, but not so much for tablets. We experienced some snags in using the OnePlus Pad where the OS simply would not recognize that we were using the tablet in horizontal landscape orientation with the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard, so some apps would stay in vertical portrait mode. There may also be some compatibility issues, as we were unable to get Disney+ to actually play any movies or shows, though it seemed to load up everything else.
Apple’s 10th-generation iPad serves up Apple’s A14 Bionic chip, which is the same chip used in the iPhone 12 series. Despite being a slightly older chip, the A14 is still plenty powerful and nothing to sneeze at. Combined with iPadOS 16, the iPad should be able to do anything that you need it to do. Whether that’s communicating with others through Messages or email, social media, photo editing, and playing games. Just keep in mind that some iPadOS 16 features, like Stage Manager, aren’t available on the baseline model, but that’s fine; if you need those features, you wouldn’t exactly be looking at the entry-level iPad to begin with. For everything else, it should work fine.
In terms of performance and software, the iPad is a clear winner. Android still hasn’t quite gotten things right on tablets, as there always seem to be some quirks. Until Android can actually get the large-screen experience right, the iPad will always win in this category.
OnePlus made an interesting design choice with the camera on the OnePlus Pad. The 13MP rear camera has a rather large sensor, and it’s placed smack-dab in the middle along the longer side of the tablet (if you’re holding it horizontally). The front-facing camera is on the opposite side of the rear camera. It’s just 8MP, but features Limelight for video calls, which is OnePlus’ equivalent of Apple’s Center Stage, the feature that keeps you centered in the frame even if you move around.
The cameras on the OnePlus Pad are nothing impressive. The rear camera will work fine if you need to take a photo in a pinch, but it’s better-suited for taking photos of and scanning documents. However, the selfie camera is just horrendous, as a lot of details are lost in the image, and everything just looks washed-out.
On the iPad, there is a single 12MP rear camera in the usual corner placement and a 12MP front-facing camera that is also placed on the longer side of the tablet. Though it’s 12MP, the overall quality is still mediocre, but Apple included Center Stage to keep you centered in the frame at all times.
Overall, both tablets offer OK cameras, but the iPad edges out the OnePlus Pad ever so slightly by giving us at least a 12MP camera that doesn’t look like absolute junk. Still, we don’t recommend anyone use a tablet as their primary camera — that job is handled much better with a great smartphone instead.
OnePlus made several accessories for the OnePlus Pad: the OnePlus Stylo, OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard, and OnePlus Folio Case. In our review, we were able to check out the OnePlus Stylo and OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard only.
The OnePlus Stylo looks and works similarly to the Apple Pencil 2. It’s mostly cylindrical except for one flat side that allows it to magnetically connect to the side of the OnePlus Pad (along the edge near the cameras). The OnePlus Stylo has 2ms latency, so there is no delay when using it for writing and drawing. It even has 60-degree tilt angle support and 4,096 levels of pressure sensitivity. You can also double tap around the bottom half to switch between tools, like pen and eraser.
However, there are some key design differences between it and the Apple Pencil 2 when compared side-by-side: the top of the OnePlus Stylo is flatter, and the nib is smaller.
The OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard is like the Magic Keyboard Folio for the iPad, except the connector to get it working with the OnePlus Pad is in a slot above the keyboard keys, so that means only one viewing angle. Once connected, it starts working immediately, and the keys themselves have good travel and a nice feel. There’s also a trackpad, letting you use the OnePlus Pad like a laptop.
The iPad also has its own set of accessories, though there are some questionable choices here. For one, while the 10th-generation iPad has been updated with a more modern design, it somehow still only works with the first-generation Apple Pencil — which, if you recall, charged only via Lightning, which is no longer on the base model iPad, as it now has USB-C.
The solution? Apple decided it would make the most sense for this iPad to have a small adapter dongle. Plug the Apple Pencil into one end of the dongle, plus a USB-C cable into the other end. It not only looks dumb, but you also can’t use the Apple Pencil while it charges. This is one of the most questionable moves Apple made with the new iPad, and it’s surprising that the company didn’t just add compatibility with the Apple Pencil 2.
The other accessory for the iPad is the Magic Keyboard Folio, which is similar to the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard, but with some improvements. For one, it doesn’t have a slot for you to put the bottom of the tablet in (it connects similar connectors but has more flexibility) because the back of the folio has a kickstand, allowing you to prop it up however you like for multiple viewing angles.
The keyboard itself has a function row, which is absent on the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard, so that’s a plus. However, it does have some flaws, like no protection for the iPad’s frame and awkward “lapability.” It’s also much more expensive at $249.
Winner: OnePlus Pad
One of the most impressive aspects of the OnePlus Pad is the battery life. It packs a massive 9,510mAh cell inside, which easily outlasts a lot of other tablets on the market. OnePlus claims that battery life can go for over 12 hours of consecutive video watching and about an entire month of standby. With no connected accessories or background apps, that standby time can go up to 50 days on a single charge.
You’ll get a SUPERVOOC power adapter with a charging speed of 67 watts with the OnePlus Pad. With those charging speeds, you’ll get about 86% charge (from zero) in one hour, and a full charge takes about 80 minutes. In our testing of the OnePlus Pad, you could easily get several days of light to moderate usage from it on one full charge. With heavy use, it might be less, but should be at least two full days.
The iPad is a little less impressive on the battery front. Apple says that the iPad battery should last through 10 hours of video watching and web surfing. Though Apple never gives specific numbers for battery capacity, it’s definitely not quite as impressive as OnePlus’ offering. In our review, Digital Treads Moble Editor Joe Maring stated that he got around two days of use on the iPad with a single charge. Apple includes a USB-C cable in the box and, surprisingly, a 20-watt wall adapter too.
Winner: OnePlus Pad
The OnePlus Pad has a relatively affordable price of $479. You can order it right now on OnePlus’ site, and it officially ships out starting on May 8. Amazon will also be getting the OnePlus Pad, but availability for that will be in late May. The OnePlus Stylo is $99, the OnePlus Magnetic Keyboard is $149, and the OnePlus Folio Case is $39.
Apple’s iPad is readily available right now and starts at $449. You can purchase it directly from Apple Stores and online, as well as a wide variety of other big-box retailers like Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and more. It comes in four colors too, which is nice. However, the Apple Pencil is sold separately for around $99, and the Magic Keyboard Folio is $249. But there are many more third-party accessory alternatives available for the iPad compared to the OnePlus Pad, so it’s easy to find more affordable alternatives.
Though this should technically be a win for the OnePlus Pad, the better choice is still the iPad, even if there are some questionable decisions Apple made with it. Why? Simply because Android still doesn’t seem to get tablets right.
Sure, the OnePlus Pad has a great display, a premium design, decent specs, and affordable accessories, but what good is any of that if the software itself is still not optimized for it? Yes, OnePlus did make some adjustments for multitasking on a tablet with OxygenOS 13, but we still encountered annoying software quirks and glitches — and what may even be compatibility issues with certain apps.
Because of that, we can’t recommend it over an iPad with iPadOS 16. Even though Apple has also stumbled with some iPad choices, like the Stage Manager debacle, at least iPadOS is much more polished than Android on the tablet front.
Especially considering that the OnePlus Pad is also $30 more than the iPad, yet offers a subpar software experience, it’s an easy choice to make. Though the OnePlus Pad is a good start for OnePlus in the tablet market and a good Android tablet on its own, it’s not enough to beat the behemoth that is the iPad.
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